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skyfire360

New to DirectX - Looking for DX9 info, a bit lost

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Heya! I've been programming in OpenGL for a while now (following NeHe's tutorials, various whitepapers on terrain generation, and dabbling in physics) and I'm afraid that OpenGL is going to be a dead language soon with the ease of use and absolutely dazzling visuals of DirectX shaders. I don't mean to start a flamewar here, don't get me wrong. I'm just looking to change things up a bit and learn a little about the DirectX API. On that note... Where's the best place to get started with DirectX9? I'm aware of the tutorials from DrunkenHyena and GameTutorials, however they seem somewhat limited in scope (i.e. the GT tutorials only go up to lighting). Most of the other websites that I have seen and books that I have found deal with DirectX8. Now I know that DirectX8 and DirectX9 share very similar interfaces for D3D drawing and ways of setting up the rendering device, but unfortunately there are quite a few differences in function calls, parameter specifications and the like. What would my best course of action at this point be? Should I bite the bullet and learn DirectX8 from the many sources available on the web and in books, or would that be counter-intuitive seeing as I would have to move on and relearn DirectX9 shortly after figuring out the basics of DirectX8? If learning DirectX9 from the get-go would make more sense and be more productive in the long-run, can anyone point me to any resources, tutorials, books and/or code examples dealing with DirectX9? I'm aware of the MSDN articles that deal with DirectX9, but from what I've found they deal mainly with vertex and pixel shaders, and I'm pretty sure I'm not at that level yet. Thanks for the help! Keep up the great community!

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to learn DirectX. I, myself, prefer (and love) DirectX over OpenGL. But don't go learning DirectX under the false pretence that OpenGL doesn't have shader support (or 'good enough' shaders). I think Quake 3 and Doom 3 speak for themselves when it comes to OpenGL's graphical abilities.

If you still want to learn DirectX, by all means, go for it! Dabble in both APIs before picking the one to specialize in.

Don't sweat it over tutorials being in DX8 instead of DX9. You'll find some switched around parameters, but nothing unbarable to convert. Just keep a copy of the MSDN open, and when the compiler says 'function X does not take 5 parameters', just look up that function. Add / change around the parameters, and you're on your way. It's not that difficult, normally it's just adding an extra NULL to the end of the parameter list.

Also, if you see a lot of people bashing the ID3DXSprite interface (mostly DX8), be advised that it's been improved 10-fold in DX9 and is a great base for sprite / 2D work.

Finally, just to add another site to your resources (both of those sites are good, GameTutorials has nice camera code if I remember correctly) is Andy Pike's site.

Best of luck to you.

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